SambaNova Raises $676M at $5B Valuation to Bring Its AI to New Areas

SambaNova builds software, hardware and services to run AI applications. The company’s primary offering, Dataflow-as-a-Service, is a subscription-based AI services platform designed to jumpstart enterprise-level AI initiatives.

Written by Jeremy Porr
Published on Apr. 13, 2021
SambaNova Raises $676M at $5B Valuation to Bring Its AI to New Areas
SambaNova builds software, hardware and services to run AI applications.
Image: Built In

Palo Alto-based AI startup SambaNova Systems announced Tuesday that it raised $676 million in a Series D financing round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2.

The massive round brings the AI unicorn’s valuation to more than $5 billion, according to the company. SambaNova, founded in 2017, launched out of stealth in December of 2020. The company has raised more than $1 billion in financing to date.

SambaNova builds software, hardware and services to run AI applications. The company’s primary offering, Dataflow-as-a-Service, is a subscription-based AI services platform designed to jumpstart enterprise-level AI initiatives.

“The question is how do we get on a new trajectory in terms of performance efficiencies, scale, and usability with a combination of software and services that makes it easy to consume for enterprises,” Kunle Olukotun, co-founder and chief technologist of SambaNova Systems, said in an interview with Built In.

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At the core of the company’s DaaS offering is SambaNova’s DataScale, an integrated software and hardware systems platform. The platform features optimized algorithms that aim to improve efficiency across applications for training, inference, data analytics and high-performance computing.

“We all understand that AI is transforming society. But the expertise required to actually use AI to accelerate business objectives, or to figure out how to improve scientific discovery isn’t widely distributed,” Olukotun continued. “And so what we’re doing at SambaNova is we are both improving the whole infrastructure to make this process much more efficient, and designing products that jumpstart enterprises with the necessary models and capabilities.”

The company will invest the additional capital in product research and development as it aims to bring its enterprise-level AI solution to new industries. SambaNova also plans to invest in its team. The company is now hiring with a majority of roles available on its product team.

“We’re very excited about the funding and about where SambaNova is going. This is a three-and-a-half-year-old company that’s gone from zero to north of $5 billion and that’s a tremendous run,” Olukotun said proudly. “But it’s a testament to both my co-founders and the team that we’ve been built around that’s on this mission to figure out how to combine software, hardware and services to really transform the AI marketplace.”

New investors Temasek and GIC joined the round alongside existing investors BlackRock, Intel Capital and GV, among others.

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